There are basically two different types of woodburning or pyrography machine, SOLID POINT and HOT WIRE. They are available from a variety of manufacturers. Janik's solid point machines are the 140 and the S Series, and hot wire machines are the H Series. Janik are the market leader in the U.K. Their latest apparatus are extremely safe, all models having illuminated rocker switches (see below left), overload protection and double insulation (see detail of one of the labels below right)

Switch Symbols


The SOLID POINT machine has a solid metal point or nib with which to burn. Two of these are shown below. They can either have an internal or an external element (a coil of wire similar to that used in old-fashioned electric fires).

The Janik 140 (below left) has an internal element concealed inside the body of the iron (like a soldering iron). The Janik S Series ( and the former G/G4) has an external element (seen below right), which is coiled around the interchangeable point. The element glows when the point is on full power.

140 Tip Point

The Janik 140, shown below, represents the simplest form of pyrography tool. For a modest outlay (as it does not require a separate transformer) the 140 does provide the absolute beginner in pyrography with the capability of burning simple designs. The latest version of this tool (available early June 2000) is very light and easy to use.

SOLID POINT (Internal Element) 140

The Janik S Series are excellent examples of the external type of solid point machine. For safety reasons, the external element type has to have a low voltage. In the case of the S Series this is 12 volts. This necessitates a separate transformer so the S series is designed around a separate pen or point holder (the item with the white body and the red end) which plugs into the transformer. A range of 24 detachable nibs or points, easily changed by just unscrewing one from the holder and screwing in another (when they are cold, of course!) are available. This versatility is a particular feature of the S Series. The three models differ only in the features offered by the transformers, all three having the same holder and access to the same range of points. Pictured below are from left to right the S1, S2 and S3.

S1 S2 S3
SOLID POINT (External Element) S Series

The Janik S1 has one outlet (as below left), and no heat control, the heat being a constant 12 volts.
The Janik S2 also has one outlet, and a heat controller (as above right), the heat being adjustable from low (6 volts) to high (12 volts) in 4 steps.

The Janik S3 has two outlets (as above centre), the heat being adjustable from low (6 volts) to high (12 volts) in 4 steps. The S3 is designed so two holders can be used simultaneously. This can be done for an indefinite period except on full power (high, 12 volts) when no more than an hour is recommended. The S3 is therefore particularly useful in schools and other institutions.


Hot Wire element glowing

In HOT WIRE machines, the source of heat or element is the nib! A short length of nichrome wire is attached to two small electrodes (see above). It heats up instantly, unlike the solid point machines where the element has to heat a chunk of metal, and only requires 2 volts. The two models in the Janik range are represented by the H Series picture below :-
H1   H2

The JANIK H1(above left), although outwardly similar to the S Series, only feeds 2 volts to the removable holder which takes a short length of nichrome wire which heats instantly, unlike the S Series which take about a minute to warm up. Because of the lower voltage it is dangerous to plug the H Series holder into a S Series transformer which is not compatible. If you already have a S Series (or G4) and wish to use the hot wire, it is necessary, unfortunately, to buy a complete H Series machine. The H1, which has a stepped heat controller, can produce a number of effects with a little skill. The wire can be shaped as required and a special spoon shaped wire is available for shading (one supplied with machine).
The JANIK H2 (above right), is unique in that it has two outlets, only one of which is affected by the heat controller. The other outlet is at full heat only. It could be used by two people simultaneously, one burning names onto wooden articles, and the other doing more advanced pyrography. The scope of this machine is limited only by your imagination. N.B. Only one holder supplied, additional holders available at extra cost. Also there is a slight degradation when both are on full power.


The GASCAT 60 (above), is a butane gas powered multi-function tool with a variable temperature control. Although designed for soldering on the fly it can also be used for pyrography where no electricity is available. For engraving names or simple designs only! Refillable from standard cigarette lighter cannisters.

The above equipment is now only available from Craft Supplies. To visit the Janik section of their online shop click here .